© 2012 Steve King
All rights reserved
Old wars began with the fog of incense,
screaming rams, weeping queens;
ships to sea, armors flashing to the sun,
reflecting gladness of the smiling gods
guiding armies to their onslaughts.
And then the cries attending butchery:
spent victors draped in gore, each one a deadly priest,
invoking well those mighty smiling ones
who parceled from the heights all precious days to die,
even at the hand of such another.
So Time unwinds the warriors’ thread,
Time, that even old gods learned to dread,
now wraps its glories in new gathered song.
But still the call of deadly priests invoking the stern one,
days to die awaiting yet, attending each new sun,
new rages to bring down the veil at last;
armor blackened with the smoke of shattering sacrifice,
proud ships grounded on the beaten sand,
sprawled broken-winged across the sand,
each day to die an eon of gnashing and lament,
the wars still ending as they all ever began:
one warrior at a time, all gallantry and banners and drums,
and incense curling round the weeping ones.